The ability to express and experience emotions is more important than people realize. Emotions are a vital component in how we perceive and respond to situations.
By tuning in with your emotions, you will learn to make better decisions, social interactions, and take good care of yourself. But, if you do not understand them, you will have a hard time creating that calmness.
You may start to feel out of control to a point where negative feelings will start to take over. According to experts, learning how to perceive your emotions is no easy task. That is why we have compiled a helpful guideline to show you ways to understand your emotions.
Why Is It So Difficult to Understand Emotions?
Controlling emotions effectively can help you develop key skills in many areas of your life. Based on a clinical analysis, people who regulate their emotions are happier and more successful than those who don’t.
But, achieving the right balance takes a lot of effort. One of the reasons is that it can be hard to identify the exact emotions we are feelings at all times.
The challenge is that we are often trained to think that we must suppress those strong emotions. Whether it is extreme sadness or frustration, we think it is better to hide them than to talk about them.
How to Understand Your Emotions?
Everyone is different. We all have our own experiences and emotions to deal with. But, once you learn how to regulate your emotions it can lead you closer to finding your inner peace. With a little bit of practice, you can go a long way.
Here, we decided to list some of the more useful emotional regulation skills that can come in handy. They have the potential to help you control your feelings.
1. Analyze the Impact
Powerful emotions are not always a bad thing. They can make your life unique, exciting, and dynamic. However, these emotions can feel overwhelming, distressing and despairing. They are a normal reaction to whatever is happening around you. That is why people can feel a need fight or flee if something bad happens.
Luckily, you can learn to control their effect by exploring why and how they happen as well as their impact. Once you identify how these emotions can affect your everyday life, you will have a much easier time understanding them.
2. Write It Down
It is hard for people to always understand how they are feeling. Especially when a million other things are happening in their life. According to research, the best way to process your emotions is to write down whatever you are feeling.
The problem is, very few people realize that there is an actual link between emotional processing and writing. Writing can be an effective coping mechanism when dealing with emotional problems.
Based on the reports, people who expressed themselves in writing managed to significantly reduce their anxiety. At the same time, those who could not express themselves had a higher risk of anxiety.
When you write something down, you can come back to it and study it. Get yourself a “mood journal” (sign up on our website www.makingways.co.uk/getstarted for your electronic journal) where you can write everything you are feeling. With this kind of expression, you will be able to better understand your feelings and learn to cope with them.
3. Focus on Regulation, Not Suppression
It is impossible to switch the emotions off and call it a day. But, the more you suppress them, the harder it becomes to control and understand them. This takes a toll on your emotional, mental, and physical health. It forces you to stay awake, creates muscle tension, depression, and anxiety.
It is true that there is not a simple way we can accurately describe what you are feeling. But that does not mean you should not try to understand these feelings. For example, many of people feel frustrated at work. However, if they decide to mask these feelings, they end up creating more and more baggage. (sign up on our website www.makingways.co.uk/getstarted for more tips on emotional regulation)
Research shows that those who do not address, acknowledge, or understand their emotions are vulnerable to physical symptoms of stress and poor mental wellbeing. Although suppressing our emotions gets us around, it builds more stress. That is a huge cost to pay.
To solve that problem, you need to practice control. Embrace your feelings but learn to manage them.
4. Expand Your Emotional Vocabulary
The way you express yourself matters. If you use a single way to express an emotion, it is hard to get your feelings around. For example, think about the things that make you angry. After you identify that emotion, come up with multiple words to express your anger.
You will be surprised by all the ways you can think of a situation when analyzing your thoughts. You will find all those deep emotions buried underneath that you did not know were there. Then, weigh out the “positive” and “negative” feelings that are connected to the source of your anger.
In the end, you need to decide to take that approach that has the biggest chance for success in improving your wellbeing.
5. Wait It Out
Think about the intensity of your emotions. When we are extremely angry or stressed, we tend to lash out. That is why we can end up doing things that that we may later regret. If you really want to understand your anger or stress, you need to take a step back.
Move away from the stressor and think about the best possible way to work through the problem. You can achieve that by waiting it out and giving your mind time to process the whole thing. When you have calmed down a little, you can make wiser decisions in line with your values.
If you do not think you can handle it alone, talk with a therapist. They can help you better understand your emotions. (sign up on our website www.makingways.co.uk/getstarted to book a consultation if you feel ready to talk to someone).
The moment you start to understand what you are feeling, you will figure out how to handle even the toughest situations. You will recognize your emotional responses and learn to cope with it. All the information listed here can help you stay on track.